Could the biblical Jesus really be the historical character upon which all of Arthurian mythology was founded? This might sound like a speculation too far—far too far—but bear with me a while, for there is much more to this theory than initial thoughts might suggest. And perhaps I should state, before I start on this radical reassessment of the New Testament, that this is a scholarly, in-depth investigation using the original documents of this early era, including the Tanakh, Talmud, Josephus, Origen, Eusebius, Irenaeus, Herodian, Suetonius, Tacitus, Clement and many others besides.
It is of no dispute that the authors of the Vulgate Cycle, the great Middle Ages epic that records the life and deeds of King Arthur, based their story on biblical events. The Vulgate begins, for instance, with the story of Joseph of Arimathaea travelling to Britain and bringing with him the Holy Grail, in the form of a cup that held Jesus’ blood. It then relates that Arthur’s Round Table was a direct copy of the Last Supper table, which is why King Arthur’s table was surrounded by twelve knights while King Jesus was graced by twelve disciples. There is a degree of equivalence here, and the reason for this is that these are both components of the same story. However, while readers may readily see this New Testament influence on the Grail myths, they may well balk at Jesus being a king or Arthur being a first-century monarch. How on earth, one might ask, can these particular circles be squared?
The answer lies in a tangental but key factor—the true identity of Saul (St Paul). It is my belief that Saul, the creator of Christianity, was actually the first-century historian called Josephus Flavius. This seemingly unrelated discovery actually provides us with the key to unlocking the deliberate New Testament code that has obscured the biblical story for nearly 2,000 years—for it is apparent that Josephus records the entire life-story of Jesus, but he just calls him Jesus of Gamala.
Now this is quite a revelation, because it lifts Jesus from the standard portrayal of a populist pauper, and projects him into being a hugely influential aristocrat who lived in the A.D. 60s and controlled his own private army. This might sound like a pack of nonsense, bearing in mind the barrage of the church’s propaganda we have all endured during our early education, but it is actually what parts of the New Testament really do say. Hebrews 11, for instance, says that Jesus became one of the first elected high priests of Jerusalem; and yet we know when this unusual event happened and who was involved—for both the Talmud and Josephus say that this was Jesus of Gamala, who became High Priest in A.D. 64. Again we see a strong link between the biblical Jesus and Jesus of Gamala.
Jesus the High Priest?—now that is a revelation. Actually, that is only the half of it, for the Talmud further records that this Jesus of Gamala was the husband of Mary of Bethany, the lady who was regularly identified as being Mary Magdalene in Renaissance artistry. Indeed, the Talmud records that this same Mary—Mary Magdalene—was the richest woman in Jerusalem, an observation that rather overturns our common perceptions of biblical history.
But there is more, for Jesus was also a king, and I don’t just say this because he was styled as the ‘king of the Jews’ at his crucifixion. No, we know that ‘pauper Jesus’ was actually king Jesus, because that is what his titles mean. ‘Christ’ and ‘Messiah’ are not ethereal spiritual titles, they simply mean ‘king’—just as kings Saul and David were also Jewish messiahs. So who was this important prince and king called Jesus, and why did a record of his being born in poverty circulate during the first century A.D.?
Well, in my previous book, ‘Cleopatra to Christ’, I identified Jesus as being the great grandson of Queen Cleopatra of Egypt, through a lost daughter of hers known as Queen Thea Muse Ourania. Now Thea Muse became Queen of Persia in the 20s B.C., but was thrown out of that country in about A.D. 4 and was exiled to the borders of Syrio-Judaea. Within this potted history of Queen Thea Muse we have the first elements of the New Testament narrative in a nutshell—a powerful royal prince who was born in temporary accommodation in Judaea at the turn of the first century, due to this family’s forced travels.
Moving on to my latest book, ‘King Jesus’, I further identify Queen Thea Muse of Persia with Queen Helena of Adiabene, another semi-ethereal exiled queen from Persia who has distinct affiliations with Jerusalem and great similarities with Queen Thea Muse. It may even have been Queen Helena who built the great Syrian desert city of Palmyra. What is known for certain is that it was Queen Helena who built a great palace in Jerusalem and fabricated the great golden menorah for the Jerusalem Temple.
Here is a radically different account of the life of the biblical Jesus than the one we are accustomed to, but one that is fully supported by contemporary and near-contemporary records. But we are no nearer in discovering how this princely Jesus can be equated with the semi-mythical King Arthur, for the life and times of the latter are said to have taken place in a completely different country and era. How, then, might we aspire to transport the Judaean King Jesus to the opposite end of the Roman Empire? The answer lies in the ambitions and objectives of this princely Jesus.
In the guise of Jesus of Gamala—the leader of the Fourth Sect of Judaism and the leader of 600 rebel ‘fishermen,’ as Josephus describes him—it is clear that this Jesus was involved in a political struggle against the Jerusalem and Roman regimes. This may initially seem to be at odds with the essence of the biblical Jesus’ goals, as we generally perceive them, but it is not. Even a cursory glance at verses like Matthew 10:34, Mark 13:12-14 and Luke 22:36 will be sufficient to place an alternative view on the gospel message, for the pauper pacifist was actually an aristocratic revolutionary. In fact, the biblical Jesus was a political revolutionary in exactly the same guise as Jesus of Gamala, and the latter’s political power-base was known as the Fourth Sect, a religio-political sect that closely mirrors the principles and goals of Jesus and his disciples. But this was not simply a struggle for the political and religious soul of Judaea, for the Talmud makes it clear that the biblical Jesus was being hailed by his disciples as ‘Caesar’. Jesus also wanted to become Emperor of Rome.
This might seem like a fanciful notion, but readers have to recall that all of these events—as narrated by Josephus, the New Testament and the Talmud—are from the A.D. 60s, not the A.D. 30s, and Bishop Irenaeus of the second century confirms this later era for the life and ministry of King Jesus. In this era, the rule of Emperor Nero was nearing its climactic end, while the most influential prophecy circulating within the Roman Empire was the Star Prophecy, which said that the new Emperor would be a king from the East. In reality this prophecy referred to Jesus, the Egypto-Persian prince who was born under an Eastern star, but it was eventually to be commander Vespasian who rode this prophesy back to Rome to become the new emperor. With the assistance of Saul-Josephus, Emperor Vespasian claimed the prophecy was his, because he was the commander of Rome’s eastern forces.
The truth of the matter is that the New Testament story actually relates one of the bitterest political struggles in recorded history. This was not the relative calm of the Judaean A.D. 30s, this was actually an account of the tumultuous events of the Jewish Civil War of the late A.D. 60s. Great literary works do not usually emerge from periods of stability and wealth; instead they are incubated and fostered during periods of conflict and strife, and the New Testament is no exception to this rule.
According to Josephus Flavius (Saul) the Jewish revolt was inspired and fomented by the Fourth Sect of Judaism, the sect led by Jesus of Gamala, the biblical King Jesus. The goal was not simply to claim the throne of Judaea, but the throne of Rome. As a direct descendant of Julius Caesar, Queen Cleopatra and Phraates IV of Persia, King Jesus not only had the royal credentials to aspire to this position, he was also from the esteemed lineage of the greatest of the Caesars and the rightful emperor of Rome.
However, Jesus’ grand strategy failed at the first hurdle. The Jewish revolt he engineered quickly morphed into a quagmire of civil war, and the Romans restored order to the region by destroying Jerusalem and condemning many of its citizens to exile and slavery. It was from this tumultuous event that the modern Jewish Diaspora were created. Furthermore, Josephus Flavius records that Jesus of Gamala (the biblical King Jesus) and two other leaders of the Fourth Sect were crucified in the Kidron Valley, but were reprieved by Josephus himself. In this historical account of the crucifixion we can probably see the first links to the Arthurian legend of the Vulgate Cycle, for in being the saviour of the crucified Jesus, Josephus Flavius was actually Joseph(us) of Arimathaea.
Of the three crucified leaders of the Jewish revolt, only one survived, an account that again tallies with the biblical version of these events, and so the lone survivor just has to be Jesus himself. But this is not the last mention we have of King Jesus within the historical record, for all of the Roman historians record a peculiar audience in Alexandria, between a ‘King of Egypt’ and Emperor Vespasian, before the latter formally accepted the imperial purple. This unknown, ethereal king was said to be lame, blind and have a dislocated shoulder, a description that tallies well with a derogatory description of the biblical Jesus from the Talmud. This Egyptian king then confers a great oracle upon Vespasian, that enables the latter to confidently accept the throne of Rome.
It is apparent from the details of this meeting that this crippled monarch was King Jesus himself—a King Jesus suffering from post-crucifixion wounds—and he had just conferred the Star Prophesy upon Emperor Vespasian. In exchange, it seems likely that King Jesus negotiated clemency, and he was therefore condemned to exile rather than death. But to where does one exile such a dangerous rebel? The answer, surely, is the opposite end of the empire, and in this early era the diametrically opposite end of the empire was the newly established province of Britannia— England.
Strange as it may seem, in exactly this same era, during the early years of Vespasian’s reign, a peculiar fortress was constructed at Dewa, modern Chester. Archaeologists and historians have long been puzzled by this fortress, because it was not only the largest fortress in the empire, it was also hidden away in the remotest of locations behind impenetrable marshlands. Just what was the purpose of hiding a fortress in such a remote location, instead of using it to dominate the empire’s northwestern hinterland? What, also, was the purpose of the strange buildings that made this fortress so large, buildings which included a unique ‘elliptical building’? Archaeologists are mystified by this building, for it was the most prestigious construction in the Dewa fortress and its design is unique in the empire – in other words, this is unlikely to have been a Roman building. But if this prestigious building was not Roman, then what was it doing in a Roman fortress?
Actually, the archaeologists are mistaken, for this is not an elliptical building at all. In fact, it is a very un-Roman Vesica Piscis Temple dedicated to the zodiac and constructed in Egyptian units of measure. But no temple, let alone a distinctly eastern, Vesica Piscis Temple, should have been built in a Roman fortress. Fortresses did not contain temples, as they wasted precious space, so why construct a foreign temple in the Dewa fortress? The answer is twofold. In my many books I have strongly connected both the Fourth Sect and the biblical Jesus with Egypt in general and the zodiac in particular, which is why the disciples were known as fishers of men and why the fish became the symbol of Christianity. In reality, this maritime symbolism was a simple allusion to the precessional zodiac, for the constellation of Pisces had just become the dominant constellation in the early first century A.D., and King Jesus was the first Egypto-Judaic monarch of this new era of Pisces. This is why Jesus was always associated with Vesica Piscis symbolism, the very same symbolism that we see in the Dewa fortress’ Temple of the Zodiac.
Secondly, the Dewa fortress was designed to accommodate a foreign temple because it was actually a prison—a Spandau prison of the first century A.D., designed solely for the purpose of incarcerating a few dangerous rebels whose claim to the leadership of Rome threatened to ignite another civil war.
The end result of all these many new perspectives and arguments is that King Jesus was actually a very famous monarch who had been exiled to England, the very location that spawned the later Arthurian legends. William Blake was right—those feet, in ancient times, did walk upon England’s mountains green. But the local population of Chester, inquisitive as to who this very important prisoner was, were simply told that he was some rebel Egyptian king. The common name that the Celtic people used for Egypt in this era, as recorded in the Scottish historical epic called Scotichronicon, was actually Aturi. Thus Jesus became known as a powerful monarch called King Aturi, or King Arthur.
However, this was not a story that the later troubadours of the medieval period could freely relate, for it was Catholic heresy. To relate the exile of King Jesus to England in the A.D. 70s was to proclaim that Jesus did not die on the cross in A.D. 33, and that kind of story could earn the author a slow roasting by the Vatican’s storm-troopers. By necessity, the characters in this important historical tale had to be changed, both in name and era; and the result is a King Arthur of England who lived in the 6th century A.D.
© 2008. Ralph Ellis has asserted his rights, in accordance with the copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.